The gold jewelry we all wear may shine, but the gold industry absolutely does not. Deforestation, dumping of chemical mining waste, exploitation and child labor are the most normal thing in the world in the gold industry. Yet most of our gold still comes from these controversial gold mines. And that while there are plenty of options to recycle the gold we have already extracted. In this article we explain why it is better to choose recycled gold.
Gold mining and the environment
Gold is often extracted from ore, which contains only very small amounts of gold. To extract the precious metal directly from ore, chemicals are needed. This process is called gold cyanidization. As the name suggests, this process uses cyanide, an extremely toxic substance that is used to extract the gold from the ground. In addition, mercury, an equally toxic substance, is used to separate the gold from the ground. You can imagine that this has a huge impact on the environment. And not only the environment, but also the miners will have to endure it.
Poverty often prevails in the remote areas around the gold mines. As a result, miners usually do not wear proper protection, awareness of working with harmful substances is low and child labor often occurs. Working in the small, often unofficial mines is one of the worst forms of child labour. According to UNICEF, more than 1 million children work in small-scale gold mining. They are exposed to unsafe and unhealthy work situations with accidents and the risk of collapse. In addition, the frequent use of mercury damages their health: directly through work and indirectly through contamination of pregnant women and nursing mothers. Moreover, it is uncertain whether intermediaries who come to collect the gold in these types of areas pay a fair price.
Go for recycled gold
By recycling gold we can avoid all these problems. Enough gold has already been mined, we no longer need 'new' gold. For example, think of all the e-waste that still contains gold. Old telephones, laptops and other devices gathering dust in our drawers are full of precious metals. It is estimated that about 7% of our gold reserves are tied up in e-waste. Sin, right? That's why Nowa makes jewelry from recycled gold from old telephones. Curious about the collection? View our jewelry here.
Pssst... do you also have an old phone lying around somewhere? Don't let it get dusty, but make sure it is properly recycled. In this article read how to do that.